Are Coffee and Chocolate Related? Do They Complement?

Are Coffee and Chocolate Related

Last Updated on 10 June, 2021 21:39 by highreviews

Are Coffee and Chocolate Related ? Coffee and chocolate are perfect companions. Dark and milk chocolate makes the perfect complement to a rich cup of coffee, while many varieties of chocolate are enriched with coffee as a key ingredients. Therefore, it is understandable that many people assume that the two are related. While it is true the two share certain flavour notes and aromas, they are in fact derived from two different plants.

Are Coffee and Chocolate Related?

Key Coffee & Chocolate Differences

Coffee and chocolate are completely unrelated. In fact, their parent plants grow in entirely different parts of the world. Although coffee is now synonymous with South America, it is a fairly recent import to the region. Originally, coffee was only grown in its native Africa and the Middle East. Although coffee is today grown across the world, some of the best coffee grounds and beans come from South American producers.

Chocolate meanwhile is indigenous to Central and South America. Chocolate is derived from the cocoa bean, which in turn grows on the cacao tree. Chocolate beverages were enjoyed in this part of the world for tens of thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans.

It was later exported to Europe by the Spanish in the 16th century, where it was enriched and enjoyed along with other experts from the New World. However, it was not until the 19th century that cocoa was manufactured in a solid form on a mass scale, eventually leading to the chocolate bars that have devoured the world over today.

Although coffee and chocolate have similar flavours, there are some very distinct differences. Coffee is known for its naturally occurring levels of caffeine, while chocolate boasts numerous antioxidants in its purest form. While both products have their unique benefits, these become hampered somewhat when heavily processed. If you want to enjoy the best health benefits of both items, it is best to serve them in the purest form possible.

Harvesting & Preparation

Coffee Beans

Coffee Harvest

Coffee beans are actually seeds, derived from berries that grow on a parent tree. The coffee been is in fact a seed at the heart of a cherry-like fruit that grows on these trees. Once harvested beans have been cleaned and rinsed, they are then roasted to give them their distinctive dark colouring. The roasted process also influences the final flavour of the coffee. When processed into ground form, coffee looks fairly similar in appearance to cocoa powder.

However, the aroma of coffee grounds is a giveaway of its true nature. If you are interested in grinding your own coffee from beans, you should be weary of over-extracting and heavily processing it. Grind beans too heavily and finely and you may affect the ultimate flavour of your drink. You also need to ensure you are grinding coffee evenly, as this will make it easier to determine how much coffee grounds to use per cup when brewing.

Cocoa Beans

Cocoa Harvest

Cocoa beans grow in pods, with many individual beans able to be harvested from a single pod. As the cacao tree is an evergreen species, cocoa bean harvesting can occur throughout the year in the right conditions. Once cocoa beans have been extracted from their pods, they are then roasted or dried. They are then ready for processing.

Cocoa beans are processed. During processing, cocoa butter is extracted from the seeds themselves, while cocoa power is also produced. In its rawest form, cocoa is fairly bitter and has next to no innate sweetness. This is all down to naturally occurring alkaloids. These alkaloids are also found in coffee beans, which is one of the main reasons why coffee and chocolate share so many characteristics.

Final Thoughts

While coffee and chocolate can be enjoyed alongside each other, you should be cautious when it comes to mixing the two as ingredients. Many baking recipes that lean heavily on chocolate sometimes call for the addition of a hint of coffee to enrich flavours. However, you should certainly avoid introducing chocolate into your coffee beverages.